Rep. Dan Bishop (R-N.C) became the first Republican lawmaker to threaten to oust Kevin McCarthy from the speakership as Republicans criticized the debt ceiling deal he made with President Joe Biden.
“It is inescapable to me. It has to be done,” Bishop told Politico when asked if he is considering triggering a vote to remove McCarthy as speaker.
Bishop, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, repeatedly voted against McCarthy during his election for speaker earlier this year. McCarthy ultimately won after 15 rounds of voting but it was only after he made several concessions including changing a chamber rule to allow just one House member to call for a vote to remove the sitting speaker.
It’s unclear whether Bishop will go ahead with his threat. He told Politico that he wants support from other colleagues before he takes such a move. At a House Freedom Caucus press conference on Tuesday, Bishop was the only lawmaker who indicated supporting a motion to oust McCarthy over the deal.
However, a Freedom Caucus member told Politico, in private, that the move to oust McCarthy remains an option.
Bishop is among the group of about 20 Republican lawmakers so far who have said they will oppose the debt ceiling legislation—a bill to raise the debt ceiling for two years, freeze spending on domestic programs, increase spending on defense and veterans issues and impose some new work requirements on federal food assistance programs.